Composition I

Eric Lauritzen

Writing is much more than a way to share knowledge, ideas, and feelings. Writing is also a way to learn—to think more deeply, organize your thoughts, and to discover and develop new ideas.

This course is designed to prepare students for a variety of college writing tasks through a combination of formal in informal writing assignments and activities. We will also practice forms of writing that take place beyond the classroom.

The course is divided into four units. Each unit incorporates and builds on the skills learned in the previous units. Each unit includes a combination of writing assignments, activities, and group work to prepare you for each major assignment.

Unit One

In this unit we will engage writing as both a process and a social act. The lessons and assignments will take you through stages of the writing process that include brainstorming, planning, prewriting, composing, revising, and editing. In learning to see writing as a social act, you will explore the interrelationship of purpose, audience, and context. You will also learn to collaborate with other writers by providing and applying peer feedback.

For your first major assignment, you will select and write about an issue that is important to you. You will explain why you personally care about the topic, what is at stake for a particular community, and analyze how these communities engage in conversations about the problem.

Unit Two

In this unit, the focus is on independent research. You will develop and use questions to guide your research and learn how to locate, evaluate, and incorporate sources in your writing.

For your second major assignment, you will select a number of texts from your research, explain how they address your research questions, and describe how they contribute to conversations about your selected issue.

Unit Three

During this unit, we delve into argumentative writing. You will learn how to articulate your position on your selected issue, put your ideas in conversation with others, and substantiate your claims with research.

For your third major assignment, you will produce a sophisticated, well-researched, argument with the intent to inform and bring about change.

Unit Four

In the final unit you will apply all you have learned to writing that takes place beyond the classroom. Email, application essays, resumes, and social media posts—all are examples of the writing we do in our personal and professional lives.

For your final major assignment, you will create an original social media artifact that communicates your point of view on your selected issue. The artifact can be a video, image, infographic, meme, Instagram post, tweet, blog entry, or virtually anything else that can be shared on the Internet. In a separate meta-commentary, you will apply what you have learned in the course to analyze your project.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Compose college-level writing, including but not limited to academic discourse, that achieves a specific purpose and responds adeptly to an identifiable audience.
  • Provide evidence of effective strategies for generating, revising, editing, and proofreading a text in order to produce finished prose.
  • Compose an argument that makes use of source material that is relevant and credible and that is integrated in accordance with an appropriate style guide.
  • Discover information, understand how information is produced and valued, and use information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.

Readings and Required Materials

  • There are no books to buy. All of your readings and supplementary course materials will be posted on Laulima.
  • You will need daily access to a computer that is connected to the Internet.